1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40-50HP Barrel Sided Tourer
£290,000 | Location: United Kingdom
This spectacular Silver Ghost is not just in excellent condition cosmetically, but also mechanically and benefits from a full engine rebuild and a vast amount of “Special Features” fitted by the renowned P&A Wood.
The Silver Ghost specialist James Black purchased 124EM in the 90’s and undertook an impressive restoration and construction of the beautifully shaped barrel sided tourer. On completion Mr Black embarked on an epic journey to raise money for charity, the journey took 3 months, covered 9,000 miles and took 124EM across Europe and the Middle East. After a successful trip in 124EM, it was time to let her go. The new owner decided he too would like to take participate in a rally, with the 2009 trial in mind 124EM was send the P&A Wood for rally preparation on what would appear to be an open budget.
Work began in late 2008, the bills from P&A on file are in excess of £200,000.00 and it is clear from the detailed invoices how meticulous the work was, mechanically every inch of the car was gone through to make driving as trouble free as possible, and if there is any trouble you can simply revert to the driving, running and maintenance instruction provided.
List of “Special Features”
The system has been modified and incorporates a cooling system that has been sealed with a coolant expansion tank. The tank is situated on the right hand to the front of the engine. All level checks should be done from this tank. The tank should be maintained to approximately 2/3 full. In extreme conditions, should coolant overflow, it will be pumped into this tank and will be retrieved back into the coolant system automatically when the engine cools down.
The normal radiator filler cap should not be disturbed unless there is a reason, such as serious coolant loss or the cooling system being drained of coolant. Under these circumstances the coolant should be topped up from the radiator cap until it overflows and then the header tank topped up to 2/3 full. There is a sealed plug fitted in the original radiator filler snout and this can be removed using a screwdriver as a lever under the special lip provided for this. It must be ensured that the ‘O’ ring mating faces are clean and the plug refitted after disturbing.
There are two fuel systems on the car, the normal air pressure system operating from the rear fuel tank, and an auxiliary system operating via a tank in the rear compartment. In all there is a total capacity of 40 gallons; 18 in the main system, and 22 in the auxiliary fuel system tank.
Auxiliary Fuel System:
The tank has been fitted in the place of the rear squab, with a long filler snout, located to the left hand side and means locking the car by a key. The tank can easily be removed and re-installed.
Operation is achieved by moving the tap positioned on the right hand side of the chassis just in front of the right hand rear wing between the road spring and the body. This tap is marked auxiliary and main. Turning the tap to ‘Aux’ and operating the fuel pump switch on the dashboard operates the system.
Auxiliary Fuel Pump:
An auxiliary fuel pump is fitted which will operate with both fuel systems on the car, the main original fuel system, which is normally air pressure operated; and also the auxiliary fuel system which can be gravity operated. There are, therefore, a number of combinations by which the fuel supply can be gained in event of an emergency.
Battery Master Switch:
An electric battery master switch has been fitted, operated by a switch which is concealed under the edge of the dashboard.
Easy Lubrication Modification:
A new system has been fitted to make lubrication of the major components easier.
There are two lubrication reservoirs and pump assemblies fitted in front of the carburettor under the right hand side of the bonnet. The front unit has a hand pull pump which when operated supplies oil in the right proportions to the cardon shaft, sphere and prop shaft centre bearing. Operating the pump for four consecutive strokes supplies the correct amount of lubricant for the 250 mile service procedure. The pump should be pulled firmly upwards, held for a few seconds and then released consecutively four times to provide the right lubrication. Should the pump fail to offer resistance the unit will be out of oil and should be topped up accordingly with ST90 gear oil.
The lubrication unit to the rear with the threaded rod supplies steering box lubricant to the steering box and this should be turned four complete turns to supply the correct lubricant for the 250 mile service lubrication of the steering box. When the leaver becomes fully screwed in it should be unscrewed, the top removed and topped up with Penrite Steering Box Lubricant.
Engine Sump Oil Level:
The oil level in the engine sump has been modified to increase the oil capacity by two pints.
The instructions to overfill by two pints when required still apply.
High performance driving spotlights have been fitted. These perform as high beam lamps when driving, and the original headlamps are used as dipped beam only, operated by the dipswitch automatically.
Special jacking/towing brackets have been fitted to the rear axle to assist with lifting, these special brackets are painted yellow and provided specifically for this purpose.
Side screens have been provided for poor weather conditions.
A valve guide dust shield has been fitted.
A safe has been provided in the centre compartment.
A seat belt option has been fitted.
All of this and more was provided in preparation for the 2009 Nile Trial. And other than the trial itself the engine has had little use in the past decade, obviously being a P&A engine, she still fires instantly and is beautifully smooth.
124EM was photographed outside the P&A building before setting off and unfortunately this is not how she returned. Whilst navigating through the desert tracks, the owners suddenly came across a lorry reversing towards them to collect fallen debris, they had to make immediate avoiding action and fortunately found them selves slung from the car and 124EM in the soft sand. Incredibly the owners injuries were minimal, no broken bones just bruises and torn muscles. 124EM also miraculously escaped with just cosmetic injuries, had they been driving on tarmac there certainly would have been a different story to tell for both owners and car.
The current owner went to see the car on its return to P&A Wood, seeing the cosmetic damage to the wings and windscreen he decided that the vehicle could easily be brought back to it’s former glory, and fortunately the mechanicals and chassis had not been touched. 124EM was purchased and immediately sent to marque specialist Ted Overton. The current owner also decided to improve the exterior look by finishing the body in a stunning shade of silver with a polished aluminium bonnet.
The paintwork today is still presented in excellent condition as too is the nickel work and leather interior. The mohair hood is easy to assemble and unmarked, the side screens are of the same quality, easy to fit and made to a brilliant standard, they certainly give you a fighting chance to make this Silver Ghost water tight.
The front compartment has beautifully scalloped body work meaning the seats hold you in place, keeping you well away from the passengers side. The seats are finished in black fluted leather. Looking forward you see a high polished dashboard with the usual period instruments, plus the added “Special Features” gauges and switches, there are also 12v charging sockets tucked away in both corners.
The rear compartment is spacious and would comfortably fit 3 passengers, or a large selection of luggage/touring equipment. There are RR logos in each door pocket, 12v charging sockets and a high polished, lockable centre cabinet. The rear seat base easily lifts out for fitment of the 22 gallon additional fuel tank, it is possible to store items on top of this as well. Both running boards house toolboxes, the N/S has removable layered trays with a large selection of tools.
A remarkable 4 wheel brake rally/touring prepared Silver Ghost ready for such events as the Peking to Paris, in our showroom and ready for viewing.